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Outcomes of the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth in Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan

June 17, 2019

G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth was held in Karuizawa, Nagano on June 15 and 16. This Ministerial Meeting is co-chaired by Minister Yoshiaki Harada (Minister of the Environment) and Minister Hiroshige Seko (Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry), and is composed of high-level meetings and working group meetings. At the end of this Ministerial Meeting, the G20 leaders have adopted the official communiqué and other annexed documents.

1.Key Outcomes of this Ministerial Meeting

  • At this Ministerial Meeting, Ministers and Representatives exchanged views on the key themes of "Accelerating the Virtuous Cycle of Environmental Protection and Economic Growth by Innovation", "Resource Efficiency・Marine Plastic Litter" and "Adaptation and Resilient Infrastructure including Ecosystem-based approaches". The official communiqué and other annexed documents have been adopted by the G20 leaders.
  • Formal bilateral meetings with 15 countries are facilitated and hosted by Japan's Environment Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries led by Minister Harada. During these individual meetings, Ministers worked on the compilation and agreement of the communiqué, and reconfirmed joint commitment to collaborating for solving environmental problems.

2.General Information

  • Date:June 15 -16, 2019
  • Venue:Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture
  • Participants:
    • G20 Members (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Republic of South Africa, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America)
    • Outreach countries : Finland, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, The Netherlands, Vietnam
    • International Organizations:Asian Development Bank (ADB), Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), Global Environment Facility (GEF), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Bank (WB), World Economic Forum (WEF), Business 20 (B20), Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), International Energy Agency (IEA), International Energy Forum (IEF), International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), Sustainable Energy for All (Se4all), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

3.G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth

At this Ministerial Meeting, Ministers and Representatives exchange of views and opinions on the key themes of "Accelerating the Virtuous Cycle of Environmental Protection and Economic Growth by Innovation" (Joint Session), "Resource Efficiency・Marine Plastic Litter" (Environment Session), and "Adaptation and Resilient Infrastructure including Ecosystem-based approaches" (Environment Session). At the end of the meeting, the official communiqué and other annexed documents have been adopted by the G20 leaders.

(1)Accelerating the Virtuous Cycle of Environmental Protection and Economic Growth by Innovation

Minister Harada introduced Japan's advanced methods and new approaches such as 1. Japan's Long-Term Strategies to achieve the Paris Agreement goals, 2. Hydrogen Energy as the ultimate environment-friendly solution, 3. Promoting Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) to accelerate technology development and commercialization.

In order to accelerate a virtuous cycle of environment and growth, which is driven by breakthrough innovation, we have adopted "G20 Karuizawa Innovation Action Plan on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth" which enhances efforts and cooperation at the national, regional and international levels, involving multiple stakeholders.

Japan's climate change initiative by spurring innovation is widely praised and it is agreed to launch an international conference, Research and Development 20 for Clean Energy Technologies ("RD20") to promote international collaboration among leading R&D institutes in G20 members.

(2)Resource Efficiency・Marine Plastic Litter

Minister Harada presented Japan's proactive approach on "G20 Action Plan on Marine Litter". Furthermore, with Japan's initiative, Environment Ministers agreed to adopt a voluntary framework for reducing plastic litter, which includes strategies designed to assist developing countries. The framework "G20 Implementation Framework for Actions on Marine Plastic Litter", would be the first to reduce plastic pollution in the oceans involving not only rich nations but also emerging economies (developing countries). Each country will take voluntary measures and will report on their activities periodically.

The Three Pillars of this framework are:

1) Proper Waste Management, Marine Plastic Litter Collection/Recovery, Deployment of innovative solutions, Promotion of a "comprehensive life-cycle approach" to prevent and reduce plastic litter discharge to the oceans.

2) They will also share related policies, best practices, in line with the G20 Action Plan on Marine Litter, when Environment Ministers and Senior Officials in the G20 countries are due to meet again for the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue.

3) Promote innovation and boost scientific monitoring and analytical methodologies for marine plastic litter including microplastics.

Regarding Resource Efficiency, the work done by the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue has been appreciated and it has been decided to draw a roadmap at the next dialogue hosted by Japan.

(3)Adaptation and Resilient Infrastructure including Ecosystem-based approaches

Minister Harada talked about the inauguration of Asia-Pacific Adaptation Information Platform (AP-PLAT), which aims to serve as the online go-to place for climate change risk information to support effective climate risk management through adaptation, as well as the Satoyama Initiative, and the concept of Regional Circular and Ecological Sphere (Regional CES).

"G20 Action Agenda on Adaptation and Resilient Infrastructure" is concluded by the Environment Ministers as one of outcomes of the Climate Sustainability Working Group (CSWG), which outlines actions, initiatives, and best practices that G20 members wish to highlight and share with other countries.

Working Lunch on June 15:

- Three Co-Chairs of the Hydrogen Council (Mr. Chung Eui-Sun, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, Mr. Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation, and Mr. Benoît Potier, CEO and Chairman of Air Liquide) gave a presentation of Hydrogen Technology.

- Mr. Shizuo Yamamoto, Associate Executive Director of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), talked on Space Debris.

- Mr. Kazuhiko Takeuchi, Chair of the Central Environmental Council Japan, also talked on the Satoyama Initiative and the concept of Regional Circular and Ecological Sphere (Regional CES).

4.Bilateral Meetings

Mr. Yoshiaki Harada (Minister of the Environment)

- U.S.A.: Mr. Andrew Wheeler, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

- EU: Mr. Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy

Mr. Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

- Brazil: Mr. Ricardo Salles, Minister of the Environment

- Italy: Mr. Sergio Costa, Minister for the Environment, Land, and Sea Protection

- Saudi Arabia: Dr. Osama Faqeeha, Deputy Minister for Environment

- China: Mr. Zhao Yingmin, Vice Minister of Ecology and Environment

- South Korea: Mr. Cho Myung-Rae, Minister of the Environment

Mr. Minoru Kiuchi (State Minister of the Environment)

- Singapore: Dr. Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State (Health and Environment & Water Resources)

- Germany: Ms. Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Parliamentary State Secretary

- IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency): Mr. Francesco La Camera, Director-General

Mr. Tsukasa Akimoto (State Minister of the Environment)

-The Netherlands: Dr. Stientje van Veldhoven, Minister of the Environment

- Indonesia: Mrs. Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Minister of Environment and Forestry

- Finland: Ms. Hannele Pokka, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment

Mr. Ichiro Kanke (Parliamentary Vice-Minister of the Environment)

- United Kingdom: Dr. Thérèse Anne Coffey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

- Canada: Dr. Martine Dubuc, Associate Deputy Minister, Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Takaaki Katsumata (Parliamentary Vice-Minister of the Environment)

- Vietnam: Mr. Lê Công Thành, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment

Through these bilateral meetings, Ministers worked on the compilation and agreement of the communiqué, reconfirmed joint commitment to collaborating for solving environmental problems, and also asked for their help to lift the stigma of Fukushima-made products. 

5.Side Events

Many side events were held alongside the main meeting.

State-of-the-art Japanese energy and environmental technologies on the theme of hydrogen energy, countermeasures for marine plastic litter and innovation were showcased at G20 Innovation Exhibition, from June 14 to 16 in Karuizawa. Throughout this event, Japan's Vision for a Virtuous Cycle for Environment and Economy has been widely spread.

Minister Harada, together with Mr. Wheeler (Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) visited the venue. Minister Harada also participated in Hydrogen Energy related events.

On June 14, Governor Matsui of Nagano Prefecture officially handed over "Nagano Declaration" on Partnership for Collaborative Action for Sustainable Development, to Minister Harada.

On June 15, local high school students joined the Ministerial Meeting and presented their research proposals.

On June 16, Minister Harada along with Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar (Indonesia), Secretary Wijam Simachaya (Thailand), and Officials of International Organization, declared the launch of the Asia-Pacific Adaptation Information Platform (AP-PLAT).

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